Meet an Innovator

Meet an Innovator

October 31, 2013

Doug White

Doug_Tree

In a recurring series, we chat with the individuals who are helping to shape the MWD landscape through their contributions at Tolteq.

The former Florida native discusses his current role as head of new product development, as well as his formative years and first career in a very different field.

I played football in college, offensive lineman to be exact. I’ve realized that our structure is a lot like a football team: every player is important, and one individual break-down can bring the whole play down. Tolteq is comprised of many small engineering teams—so this aspect of teamwork and shared vision is vital to our continued success.

Before going back to school for engineering at age 26–I was a police officer. I decided that law enforcement was probably not the best career path for longevity and financial security. It’s too bad, because they are risking their lives every day.

I was drawn to engineering for several reasons, but the biggest was the fact that I could build something based on an idea. It’s something that grabbed me as a kid, as I messed around with circuit boards, soldering irons and the like. Anyone who walked into Radio Shack as a kid in the 70’s probably knows what I’m talking about.

My passion, believe it or not, is to promise delivery on a project and actually see the whole thing through. There is no better feeling than to know I met all of my goals, plus you have this awesome new product at the end that didn’t exist before.

Scope creep is the enemy, it is the #1 reason why a product does not meet its deadline. It kind of starts like this: “Hey, I’ve got an idea for a new feature that is going to make this product even better.” Meanwhile, we are two weeks away from testing.

I’ve dealt with incredibly difficult people and survived very tough situations as a police officer. Even though I did not continue down that path, I’m glad I had a “community service” job early in my life. Now, I can take that experience into my current role and know that very little is going to upset me or ruin my day.

Engineers love real user feedback on their designs—they eat that stuff up. It’s really a great feeling to know that something you helped to create now exists in the real world—and is actually making someone’s life easier.

Tolteq is transforming the industry by finding ways to make our customer’s workflow easier and more predictable through everything from more reliable and efficient tools to creating great reference manuals and a knowledge base that removes the specter of tribal knowledge. After all, MWD should not be some mysterious art for the privileged few.